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Wed, Jun 26


Plenty Downtown Bookshop

Author Event: Mary Laura Philpott

Plenty welcomes nationally bestselling author Mary Laura Philpott!

Author Event: Mary Laura Philpott
Author Event: Mary Laura Philpott

Time & Location

Jun 26, 2024, 5:30 PM – 6:30 PM

Plenty Downtown Bookshop, 48 W Broad St, Cookeville, TN 38501, USA


About the event

Plenty is so excited to welcome national bestselling author Mary Laura Philpott to Cookeville. Mary's memoir Bomb Shelter was the 2023 winner of the Southern Book Prize and named by NPR as one of the best books of the year.  It is a poignant and powerful memoir that tackles the big questions of life, death, and existential fear with humor and hope. As a daughter, mother, and friend, Mary Laura Philpott considered herself an “anxious optimist”—a natural worrier with a stubborn sense of good cheer. And while she didn’t really think she had any sort of magical protective powers, she believed in her heart that as long as she loved her people enough, she could keep them safe. Then, in the early hours of one dark morning at home, her belief was upended. In the months that followed, she turned to poignant memories, priceless stories, and a medley of coping mechanisms (with comically mixed success) to regain her equilibrium and find meaning in everyday wonders. Hailed by The Washington Post as “Nora Ephron, Erma Bombeck, Jean Kerr, and Laurie Colwin all rolled into one,” Philpott tackles the big questions of life, death, and existential fear—not to mention the lessons of an inscrutable backyard turtle—with hope, humor, and joy.


Mary Laura Philpott is the author of the memoir Bomb Shelter: Love, Time, and Other Explosives (2022), which was called a “masterwork” by the New York Times and a “beautifully wrought ode to life” by the Washington Post. Bomb Shelter was awarded the Southern Book Prize, chosen by Cheryl Strayed’s “Wild Reads” Book Club, and named an Editor’s Choice by the New York Times Book Review and one of the Best Books of the Year by NPR. It was also an Indie Next pick by booksellers nationwide, an Amazon Editor’s Choice selection, and a notable or most anticipated book according to publications ranging from PEOPLE magazine to the Washington Post to the Read with Jenna community on, among others. Mary Laura is also the author of the national bestseller I Miss You When I Blink — which was named one of NPR’s Favorite Books of 2019 and a finalist for the Southern Book Prize. Her essays examining the overlap of the absurd and the profound in everyday life have been featured by The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Atlantic, and many other publications. Additionally, Mary Laura (yep, both names) is a former bookseller and was an Emmy-winning co-host of A Word on Words, the literary interview program on Nashville Public Television. She lives in Nashville, Tennessee, with her family.

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